Elena White’s clarification

US State Department’s spokesperson Ms Elena White said that President Trump desires to work with Pakistan. Republican Administration is not holding Pakistan responsible for the worsening conditions in Afghanistan. America is aware of the Pakistan’s contributions towards peace in Afghanistan and appreciates the people’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism.
The safe havens and shelters of terrorists do exist across the Pak-Afghan border. President Trump’s new Afghan Policy is for the entire South Asian region and not Pakistan-specific. She said that American President Trump’s criticism of Pakistan was part of the larger Republican Administration’s cohesive regional approach which is part of Afghan, India and Pakistan Policy. She defended Trump’s approach towards Pakistan which is based on the ground realities and timeline. Pakistan and the United States have stable relations for the last 70 years. Pakistan is being held responsible for the deterioration of conditions.
I think this clarification is not enough to set the record straight and is an after-thought. And at best it can be dubbed as appeasement effort to gain the trust of Pakistan. Donald Trump’s entire Afghan policy is seriously flawed and based on assumptions contrary to ground realities. Pakistan has played important role as the Front Line State in the war on terror. Pakistan Army has resolved to continue Zarb-e-Azb & Raad-ul-Fasad till the last terrorist is alive. We will continue to do so despite Trump’s scathing criticism.
JAVAID BASHIR
Lahore

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